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Pradeep Chopra is among the pioneers of Digital Marketing, and has been a part of the Internet Industry since 2000. He has been a serial entrepreneur for the last 13 years and is currently the Co-founder & CEO of Digital Vidya.

A graduate from IIT Delhi, Pradeep has personally trained & advised over 2500 professionals including CEOs across Asia in helping them grow their businesses through Digital Vidya’s hands-on Digital Marketing trainings.

His obsession for the digital medium has led him to believe that

Internet connectivity is more important than the water supply

Recently we caught up with Pradeep to understand the state of social media marketing in India, challenges around and the scope for our other startups who are planning to enter this space.

[Edited Excerpts]

Inc42:  What exactly is Digital Vidya? How did the idea came up to start this kind of a venture?

Pradeep: Digital Vidya is India’s largest Digital Marketing training company. The founding team at Digital Vidya started their journey to leverage Digital Marketing with their 1st venture, Whizlabs Software in year 2000. Since then we were informally sharing our experience with others to leverage Digital Marketing. In 2009, someone suggested that why couldn’t we do that formally and that gave birth to Digital Vidya.

Inc42: How is Digital Vidya doing? How has been the overall entrepreneur journey for you so far?

Pradeep: We’ve been enjoying our entrepreneurial journey since year 2000 and like any other venture, Digital Vidya has shown us good and bad times. While we’ve been able to build a strong brand and respect for Digital Vidya, scaling a training business is a challenge. Going online, productizing our training programs and expanding globally are the priorities for us in 2014 and beyond.

Inc42: What are some issues that a social media marketing company faces when it comes to managing clients?

Pradeep: Firstly, we are not a Social Media or Digital Marketing agency and thus, we don’t manage presence for our clients. However, having the right people & processes to produce real business results are the key challenges faced by a Social Media agency.

Inc42: Social Media marketing has created a lot of buzz among business communities in past few years, how do you see it will shape up in the coming time?

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Pradeep: Social Media is no more a buzzword today. It’s increasingly becoming an integral part of our daily life and thus going to play an even bigger role for organizations to reach out to and engage with their customers. Like other mediums of communication and marketing, Social Media will become mainstream in near future.

Inc42: Can you share some trends around social media which we will witness this year?

Pradeep: I see the next level of growth in terms of investment in Social Media space across the world and Asia is going to take a lead in terms of growth. Integration of technology with marketing, growth of mobile marketing, increased investment into content and more participation among B2B players will be key factors of growth for Social Media in 2014. Also, consolidation at an agency level will continue in 2014.

Inc42: According to you, how B2B conversations differ from B2C conversion on social media?

Pradeep: B2B engagement on Social Media is more formal, in-depth and less frequent compared to engagement for B2C. Relatively, it’s easy to engage B2C customers compared to B2B.

Inc42: Does strong social media presence really help a brand? As despite strong Social Media presence many are struggling with profits, what would you like to say about that?

Pradeep: Yes, if done well, Social Media can be extremely valuable. The challenge lies in defining Social Media objectives and aligning Social Media strategy & execution including resources with it. Also, it’s important to have a long term view vs trying to achieve quick results, which are not sustainable.

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Inc42: What can be some parameters to judge a digital campaign?

Pradeep: The success of any digital campaign is its ability to fulfill relevant business objectives. Accordingly, ROI metrics for any campaign will be based on the objectives behind it. For e.g., No. of leads, Quality of Leads, Cost Per Lead will be the key metrics for a Digital Marketing campaign for lead generation.

Inc42:  What are few things which marketer should keep in mind while marketing on social media?

Pradeep: A Social Media marketer must be clear of the business objectives and target audience for the campaign. S/he should choose the Social Media platforms based on the target audience vs choosing a platform used by others. Defining key metrics based on the business objectives and identifying relevant tools & processes to measure the same should form the foundation for continuous improvement.

Inc42: What are few tips that you would like to give a digital media company for promoting their content on social media?

Pradeep: As I shared earlier, you should define your Social Media objectives and be clear about your target audience. Based on the same, focus on producing (including curating) really high quality content and share on relevant platforms. Always, look for opportunities to ride on the popularity of the influencers by engaging and deepening your relationship with them.

Inc42: Any advice you have for startups which are planning to venture into social media marketing?

Pradeep: While Social Media is a growing space, it’s becoming competitive. Thus, it’s important to focus and play on your strengths to create sustainable competitive advantage for long-term success. Whether one chooses to start an agency or build a tool or offer some other service or product, differentiation has to be factored in from the beginning.

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